Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons.
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system, and affects nearly 1 million Indians every year. It is a disease that is marked with age, and can be treated but not cured. Parkinson’s patients progressively lose motor skills that impede movement. Moreover, Parkinson’s Disease patients experience lack of dopamine secretion that leads to other issues, such as chemical imbalances of hormones, that leads to depression or drastic mood swings. Parkinson’s Disease is mainly caused due to the degradation of the substantia nigra, a small part of the brain; this causes brain cells to die, thus causing the deprivation of chemical dopamine.
There currently is no actual cure for Parkinson’s, though there are several treatment options available that can help halt, slow down or enable a Parkinson’s Disease patient with a healthier lifestyle. The main cause of concern is that often times the signs of Parkinson’s go undetected due to its unique nature.
How Unique Is Parkinson’s Disease?
When we say unique nature, we are referring to the fact that no two Parkinson’s patients face the same symptoms. The most common symptoms that are found are shivering, shaking of limbs, fatigue, decreased motor coordination. Now the issue is that these signs are often simply shrugged off as the onset of old age. Another sign of Parkinson’s is muscle rigidity and speech impairment which is very often ignored or diagnosed as another disease.
Tremors are perhaps the most identifiable sign of Parkinson’s Disease. A slight twitching or shaking of a finger, hand, or foot is common. The person experiencing the tremor is likely to be the only person who notices them in early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. The shaking will worsen and become noticeable to others, however, as the condition progresses. The tremor is usually most noticeable at rest.
Concerns with respect to sleep can also be a major warning sign, that goes ignored by people, because the common belief is that everyone faces sleeping problems from time to time due to their hectic lives, tossing and turning takes on a new meaning when you’ve got Parkinson’s.
Early signs of the disease can include many uncontrollable movements, not just occasionally, but on a regular basis. Kicking, thrashing, flailing your arms, and even falling out of bed can be indications of a serious problem.
Professionals suggest that in order to keep Parkinson’s in check, or to prolong its effects, one should maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Regular light exercise after the age of forty, and a diet compromising of all the categories of the food pyramid are essential. However due to hectic lifestyles and demanding career lives, people often ignore the importance of the
However, what is interesting is that research shows that patients with Parkinson’s frequently experience urgency to urinate, drooling, anxiety, stress and reduced sense of smell, years before motor disabilities occur. Since many of these mentioned symptoms are also early onset of old age, patients often fail to tell their physicians about such issues, despite the way these symptoms hamper their daily lives. If these signs are reported early on, they can be efficiently treated.
Another ignored sign of Parkinson’s that is ignored is known as Masked Face. As aging approaches, people’s faces often become serious, depressed looking or mad, or if people ask “are you in a bad mood?” this can be due to the lack of facial sensations that is an early sign of Parkinson’s that goes undetected or ignored. Additionally, if one is having trouble moving your bowels without straining every day? Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign of Parkinson’s Disease and you should talk to your doctor.
Something as simple as change in handwriting can also be a trigger warning for onset of Parkinson’s Disease, that is ignored by patients. Stiffness while writing and shrinking of letters while writing is a cause of concern, which should not be ignored, and should be brought up while in discussion with one’s physician. People with PARKINSON’S DISEASE have a hard time controlling movement because of the changes in the brain. This can make fine motor skills like writing more difficult.
Micrographia is the medical term for “small handwriting.” Parkinson’s patients often have handwriting that looks cramped. Individual letters tend to be smaller than normal, and words are spaced closely. A person with PARKINSON’S DISEASE may begin writing a letter in their regular handwriting but gradually start writing in smaller font.
Therefore, it is obvious that early signs of Parkinson’s Disease can be easy to miss, especially if they occur periodically. It may be time to see a doctor if you are noticing symptoms that keep appearing. Parkinson’s Disease is a serious and chronic condition. PARKINSON’S DISEASE treatment is significantly more successful when the disease is caught in its earliest stages. Diagnosis can be difficult, as many of the early signs are similar to those in other health conditions.
You know your body better than anyone else. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your physical movement or behavior, or if something does not feel right. Warning sign generally progress gradually over the years. The advancement of warning signs is often bit unlike from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease.
All the content written above is for informational purposes only. Please consult your medical professional before taking any steps regarding your condition.